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By Natalie Delcorps

In a world succumbed to criticism and pressure, it is hard not to get beaten up by other people’s opinions. Even though the “high school experience” might be different for every person, certain things remain the same. During this year, I’ve noticed people didn’t have anything in common with activity-wise, still ended up struggling with the same problems I was struggling with. The idea that my peers and I have the same kinds of issues became more prevalent to me when reading the book Ask Elizabeth by Elizabeth Berkley.

Ask Elizabeth is what some people would call a “self-help” kind of book, but what I think makes this book one of my favorites is the creativity. If anyone has read Chicken Soup for the Soul, this book is a lot like that with quotes from an assortment of different teens. This book is primarily directed towards teenage girls, but I think anyone could gain something from this book. Recently, I decided to reread this book, and enjoyed it just as much as the first time.

The book is laid out in an artistic, yet helpful way for readers, making it interesting for people to read. I particularly enjoyed flipping through the pages beforehand looking at how well the book was constructed. Usually, books don’t normally have that artsy aspect, but this one is unique by doing something like that, with adding all of the quotations.

There are five chapters divided into things about life such as body image, love and loss, bffs, bullies, family issues and inner thoughts. What drew me to this book was the fact that not only was it personal with Berkley’s opinions, but thousands of other girls were able to share their own personal opinions as well. Hearing an adult’s opinion can be much different than hearing a peer’s opinion, and I think Berkley, the actress from TV shows such as Saved by the Bell, did a good job creating balance between the two.

There are so many stories in the book from real girls, so it’s hard not to gain something from quotes of experience and advice. One girl Sydney said, “My parents came to this country when they were in their twenties, and they don’t understand the culture here at all. They give me lectures about how I have too much fun, more than they ever had when they were teenagers, and so they keep me on a tight leash.” This is just one of the thousands of quotes that are in the book offering advice and their own point of view on their life. Hearing all of these girls and their stories helped me to understand everyone is in the same boat, and not to worry as much.

I would suggest this book to any of my girl friends because I think anyone could take this book and learn something. From the hundreds of books I’ve read, Ask Elizabeth is unlike any other. Ask Elizabeth is an invigorating book with a positive outlook on life, and I think anyone who is in high school that likes reading would enjoy this book.

Rating: 8 paws out of 10.

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